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AK2030 Theory and Methodology of Science (Natural and Technological Science) 4.5 credits

The aim of the course is to provide a deeper understanding of the methodological and underlying philosophical issues that arise in science, and inspire to reflection on such issues within the student’s own area of study. After having taken the course the student should have acquired basic knowledge of the foundational issues in the methodology and philosophy of science, specially as regards the natural and technological sciences.

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Choose semester and course offering to see current information and more about the course, such as course syllabus, study period, and application information.

Headings with content from the Course syllabus AK2030 (Spring 2024–) are denoted with an asterisk ( )

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

The following is an incomplete list of topics covered in the course.

  • Scientific knowledge
  • Definitions
  • Hypothesis testing
  • Observations and measurements
  • Experiments
  • Models
  • Statistical reasoning
  • Causes and explanations
  • Engineering design
  • Qualitative methods
  • Research ethics
  • Risk and risk assessment

Intended learning outcomes

After having completed the course, the student should, with regards to the theory and  methodology of science, both orally as well as in writing, be able to:
• Identify definitions and descriptions of concepts, theories and problem areas, as well as  identify the correct application of these concepts and theories.
• Account for concepts, theories and general problem areas, as well as apply concepts and  theories to specific cases.
• Critically discuss the definitions and applications of concepts and theories as they applies  to specific cases of scientific research.

Course disposition

No information inserted

Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

120 university studies in technology or in the natural sciences as well as knowledge of English corresponding to English B/ English 6

Recommended prerequisites

No information inserted


No information inserted


To be announced at course start. All material is available through the course platform. The following literature has been used previously:

• Till Grüne-Yanoff “Justified Method Choice - Scientific Methodology for Scientists and Engineers”.

• Articles distributed during the course.

Examination and completion

If the course is discontinued, students may request to be examined during the following two academic years.

Grading scale

A, B, C, D, E, FX, F


  • SEM1 - Seminars, 1.5 credits, grading scale: P, F
  • TENB - Written exam, 3.0 credits, grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F

Based on recommendation from KTH’s coordinator for disabilities, the examiner will decide how to adapt an examination for students with documented disability.

The examiner may apply another examination format when re-examining individual students.

A student can be examined in SEM1 with written assignments that replace attendance at seminars, provided that an agreement is in place for the student to take the course remotely.

Other requirements for final grade

Fulfilled seminar requirements and written exam.

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

No information inserted

Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination

No information inserted


Ethical approach

  • All members of a group are responsible for the group's work.
  • In any assessment, every student shall honestly disclose any help received and sources used.
  • In an oral assessment, every student shall be able to present and answer questions about the entire assignment and solution.

Further information

Course web

Further information about the course can be found on the Course web at the link below. Information on the Course web will later be moved to this site.

Course web AK2030

Offered by

Main field of study

This course does not belong to any Main field of study.

Education cycle

Second cycle

Add-on studies

No information inserted


Henrik Lundvall (